27 Jun 2011

Icebreaker GT 150 Gram Base Layer T

I love Merino wool  - My go-to base layer when tramping in NZ during spring and summer is a 150 gram short sleeve Merino T shirt. In autum and winter I wear a 200 gram long sleeve T.

In preparation for the John Muir Trail hike this August I have decided to go long sleeve for more sun protection and have selected the long sleeve 150 gram Icebreaker GT.  I got this at a great price at the Icebreaker Outlet store.

This T has "mesh" panels on the body sides and inside sleeves that give it added breathability. I wore it for the first time last w/e on a 4.45 hour training hike and loved it.

One of the other great advantages of Merino is it anti-microbacterial structure. I have worn these T's for 10 days with no stink. The same applied to my Merino Undies - no second pair needed! This eliminate the need for washing. Just as well as Merino is very slow to dry. But if if it does get wet, unlike polyester, you will still feel warm.

The 150 gram is also light in weight and because of its body fit, when a cold snap kicks in, you can easily increase layers. I usually throw on my Golite Wisp wind shirt when taking a hiking break or on a windy ridge, a rain jacket with heavy rain, or in camp my Backpacking Light Cacoon jacket.

9 Jun 2011

Lightweight Gear Guide

For the lightweight freaks and wantabs - get Andrew Skurka's new eBook on lightweight gear. You can order it off his website.

8 Jun 2011

Fenix Head Touch

I have been a great supporter of Petzl headlamps. But I have discovered Fenix a new headlamp supplier - Light in weight and very bright in power. Although battery power may be compromised at full power, the light still has great illumination at 50% power or lower. You can alter power over three levels. It takes one AAA battery. The website gives you good "burn" power.
Here's a photo of the LD01 - size comparison with a pen and on my peak hat.
It is designed to work with a baseball hat, or as I now use, a "golf visor",
In short, it is light, bright and cheap at around $US28

6 Jun 2011

Kaweka Queens Birthday Trip

Just back from 3 days in the Kaweka Forest Park - Lots of wind, clag and showers. We had intended to go up Makahu Spur, but one gaze at the tops on Saturday morning put paid to that.
We stayed low and headed for Middle Hill Hut. On Sunday we headed off to Makino hut and on Monday down to Te Puia Lodge and out by noon.
A nice soak in the hot pools and at 2pm we were off home, arriving in Auckland at around 7.45pm.
A great weekend with the usual excellent company of the Auckland Tramping Club.
Thanks Lee for another great trip,  thanks Sally for being a good "housewife" and Dennis for translating my Aussie into English (in joke!).
I took my ULA Conduit Pack - a little beauty for three to 4 day trips  (It's now called the CDT).
I also took my Macpac Adventure 300 bag as I was expecting to tarp under constant rain - didn't - My Western Mountaineering HighLite would have been better and 255 grams lighter!

Photos:  Rob and Dennis on fire wood duty at Middle Hill Hut and Rob,Sally and Dennis at Kaweka Flats Biv.